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Is blogging cheap?
This blog has been around for all of one week now (yay!). I am not a total newbie, this is the fourth blog I have started and I don’t know how many websites I have built…over a dozen at least.
Last night I finally set up my account in Wave and took a look at what I have spent to get set up. Since I love to read other blogs income and expense reports I thought I would share how much it has cost to start this blog.
Blogging isn’t cheap, no matter what some bloggers claim. There are all sorts of posts out there “Set Up a Blog for only $3.95!” or “Get Started Blogging for Less Than $5.00!” and I wanted to see if I was anywhere near that.
The simple answer is no.
I have spent about $700 getting this set up and launched. Now, about half of that is education, I am taking a couple of classes and bought a few e-books on specific topics. But even if you take that out of consideration I spent over $300 on hosting, themes and plugins.
Hosting and Domain Expenses
You can definitely start blogging for much less if you are going to start as a hobby. The free themes that WordPress supplies are fine for that.
I did buy a theme for this blog, though. It is important to me to have a clean design that is easy to navigate so that people can find what they are looking for on my blog.
I used Pretty Chic from Pretty Darn Cute Designs. I love how it looks, it was easy to customize and has some great built-in features.
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And self-hosting on BlueHost is super cheap when you pay for a year or more at a time, it’s what most blogs are talking about when they say “Get Started for $3.95!” I found that they don’t have the best record though. My site kept going down and my site speed was abysmal.
After using them for a while I switched to Siteground and have been much happier with their customer service. It is slightly more expensive but my site hasn’t been down once and my site speed is much higher.
Options Other Than WordPress
You can start on Squarespace for only $12 a month and use one of their templates. Or if you want to be even cheaper you can start on Weebly and use one of their free sites. I still use Weebly for my VA business, you can see the branding on the bottom of each page. You will have to buy your domain still, but you can do that for about $12 a year on GoDaddy.
The only issue with these sites is if you want to do affiliate marketing. You don’t have the same control and options for plugins that you do on WordPress.
E-mail, Popups and Marketing, Oh My!
The other expenses I have racked up are for e-mail marketing. I signed up with ConvertKit so that I can create e-mail newsletters that will get mailed automatically when someone signs up on my site. In order to keep that working smoothly, I also signed up for the pro version of SumoMe. You probably saw my landing page or a popup when you arrived at my site, that is SumoMe.
I was reading a post on one of my Facebook blogging groups and that person had added up all her monthly blog costs for the next year and it came out to over $2000. This is for someone who had signed up for lots of extras in order to really build her business, but it goes to show you that blogging does cost money. Still, it is a lower yearly cost than many other businesses. There is no rent, and you won’t have any employees unless you get really big.